With less than 3 weeks until my due date, it was finally time I packed our hospital bags. Last time I felt like I packed way too much and not enough at the same time. Let me explain...last time I didn't really know what I was getting into so I felt the need to be prepared for everything. Little did I know, the hospital actually provides quite a bit for you. I also didn't think of myself very much when packing my bag last time. I forgot lotion, chapstick, hair stuff and cute pjs. I really missed those things because I had guests come visit us in the hospital and I just felt ugly. I didn't like my dirty hair, my lips were killing me from the constant a/c and my legs and arms were all dry and flaky.
So this time, I have a little better understanding as to what I actually need for the hospital.
Mommy Hospital Bag:
-Cute pajamas...I bought two pairs of lightweight pajama pants and two nursing tank tops to wear with them. I also bought a lightweight robe to throw over my nursing tanks if I get cold or if guests are coming to visit.
-Cute, but comfortable, going home outfit. This is one of those things I definitely didn't think about last time. I felt so horrible going home. This time I am bringing a maternity/nursing maxi dress that I know will be comfortable and just one pair of large full-booty panties.
-All the toiletries. I made sure to pack even shampoo and conditioner because I tend to wash my hair only about once every 3-4 days. If I happen to go to the hospital on day 4 without having washed my hair...it's going to need to be washed for me to even feel like a human! Also, the power of taking a shower is amazing. I only took a quick shower during my last hospital stay but I really should have taken my time and let myself relax. I plan on doing that this time! This also obviously includes my toothbrush and paste, brush, face wash, lotion, a few nursing pads and nursing ointment in case my milk actually comes in (not likely) etc.
-Make-up. Yep...I am one of those girls that just doesn't feel pretty with a bare face. Even if I just put on some concealer and mascara, I will feel so much better and then all the pictures won't be horrible either. I want to feel pretty since giving birth is a pretty horrific experience haha. (Obviously this isn't packed yet since I need to wear my makeup still. I do have it all in a carrying box so it will be very easy to plop the box into my bag on our way out the door.)
-Flip flops. So hospital floors are gross and I don't want my feet touching them. Especially the bathroom...and I know I will be making frequent trips to the potty even if it just to change my huge granny panty pad! (Remember....very unattractive things going on after birth....another reason to wear some makeup and feel better about myself!)
-Electronics. Obviously I will want my camera there and my phone with the chargers for both. So far I just have my camera packed since I will be using my phone and phone charger up until I go into labor.
-Snacks. The hospital provides meals but let me tell you...it's never enough (and it doesn't even taste that good!). I packed a few protein bars and then I plan on having hubby get some trail mix or something. (Also, quarters are a good idea for the snack and drink machines if you run out of the snacks you packed.)
-Pillow. Another thing that won't be packed until we are ready to go but this is a very important one for me. The hospital pillows have a scratchy pillowcase and they are the kind that go flat after laying on them for a while. I HATE those pillows. It's hard enough to sleep after having a baby so having my own, comfortable, fluffy pillow is a must!
Baby Hospital Bag: (*Note: these are packed in my bag, not an extra bag to lug around)
-Going home outfit. I couldn't decide on just one (and you never know how big or small the clothes will fit) so I packed two outfits for Madison. This includes a matching bow or beanie. (Considering today was about 90 degrees, I might be adding an outfit that is better suited for hot weather...like a onesie!)
-Boppy. This is another one of those things I didn't bring last time that I definitely regretted. Of course you can use the regular hospital pillows to prop up the baby into the correct nursing position but the boppy is just so much easier.
-Blanket. I packed a muslin blanket for the ride home...something simple and lightweight since it should be pretty warm.
-Carseat. Duh! Pretty important since the hospital won't let you take your baby home without one. It's already installed in the car with the covers washed and ready to go.
-Notebook. I want to be sure someone writes down all the things that happen and what time they happen. Things can go very quickly, especially toward the end, and I don't want to forget anything. I have a small pink journal packed to write down the times I get checked, how far along I am, when I get my epidural, etc.
Here are some things you DON'T need to pack that the hospital provides for you (or you just never actually use!):
-Pads and panties. The hospital provides these huge mesh panties that honestly work great for the first couple of days after giving birth. You don't want to worry about bleeding through a small pad that you bought and ruining your own undies. Just wear the heinous mesh panties...they actually rock! (I did pack one pair of undies and a pad for the very short drive home but I plan on wearing the mesh things while in the hospital.)
-Diapers and wipes. This is another thing the hospital provides. Also, take all the diapers they have in the drawer in your room. That's what they are there for!
-Books, magazines, computer. At least for me, my labor progressed so quickly that I didn't have time to even think about being bored enough to read a book. After birth, I was too busy staring at my beautiful new baby and having guests come in to visit. Also, if you have a spare moment to relax, my advice is to actually try to get a few minutes of sleep. It's hard with all the hospital staff coming to check on things and visitors, oh and that new baby you just had, but close your eyes even if it's just for a few minutes. If you absolutely MUST be "connected," you can always check up on things using your phone.
There you have it. My list of must-brings along with the things you can forget at home! Hopefully I am not forgetting anything major and that our hospital stay will go smoothly.